Over the next few posts, I'm going to preview a major part of the revised Guide to the Known Galaxy right here, giving you a preview of Solomon Station. Basically, you'll be getting a free city sourcebook, including a new race for your Otherverse America campaign. Now, I might add some information before GTKG v2 is released, or change the layout, but what you're seeing here is pretty close to what you'll see in the book.
Medium Humanoid (Lifecount 1)
The Wrench were originally engineered at NASA’s request during the late 2020s, as mankind took its first steps outside our solar system. The first generation of Patriot Wrench were human volunteers who accepted untested genemods in hopes of winning a berth on one of the early FTL starships, but every generation of Wrench since then has been freeborn, and rightfully proud of their heritage as early out-colonists.
The Wrench genemod is one of the most severe alteration of the human genetic code in existence. Wrench mutates incorporate Lifechained alleles recovered from space-born super predators. These lines of alien genetic code give the steel-skinned mutates their ability to survive (and enjoy) hard vacuum. Further, their genetic heritage means that Wrench are comfortable in deepest, blackest space in a way few other Earth-born humans can ever be. Wrench are happiest on some massive starship heading towards Phallus Space and the Galactic Core; they’re bored and claustrophobic on Earth, preferring the cold, austere beauty of the stars.
Wrench are relatively rare in Earth space. They might return to their planet of origin for a brief R&R stopover, and might even own an Earth-side house or two, but they spend 80-90 % of their lives ‘out in the black’. They are a common sight in human and Stonecutter spaceports, and most Beanstalk shops and bars have learned to accept their quirks without complaint.
The majority of Wrench in our Solar System call Jupiter’s Solomon Station home, making their living servicing visiting star-liners. The Wrench union on Solomon is one of the out-colony’s foremost political voices and has been since 2096, when a Wrench strike shut down intra-system travel for nearly three days. Needless to say, by the time the strike was over, the Wrench Spacelifters Union had got what it wanted.
In Psi-Watch, Patriot Wrench mutates are a refinement of the earlier Shiftsteel Symbiote soldier-species. Patriot Wrench are less physically powerful, but more psychologically stable- they do not have to endure the alien dreams and implanted memories that plague Shiftsteel mutants. Every faction fields at least a few Patriot Wrench, because their natural gifts make them perfectly suited for exo-atmospheric work.
Psi-Watch itself has trained a small, elite Cadre of Patriot Wrench supersoldiers known as the Morningstar Brigade. Morningstar Brigade troops are trained in sky-diving and HALO operations, and a preferred tactic is to make a dangerous HALO jump from the edge of the ionosphere, using a Phobos suborbital as a mission platform. Morningstar Brigade is commanded by Major Samuel Jane, codenamed Starburn. The career Air Force pilot who accepted genetic reorganization after being shot down over Iraq. The Patriot Wrench mutation was Major Jane’s chance to walk- and fly- again.
Wrench mutates are instantly recognizable thanks to their metallic, gleaming skins, which are as warm and supple as human flesh but have a silvery, gun-metal sheen. They are perfectly adapted for starship life. Their skins are tough enough to shrug off micro-meteorite punctures, and they are highly resistant to temperature extremes. Never cold, and rarely modest, most Wrench mutates go nude or nearly so, only donning clothes or a uniform when they absolutely cannot weasel out of it. When forced to wear anything more confining than a tool belt, they are uncomfortable and fidgety.
A Wrench’s upper torso and upper arms are decorated with luminous, genetically encoded tattoos. These glowing tattoos display the Wrench’s name, birth location and current duty station. The Wrench can alter the color and illumination provided by these glowing birthmarks with a thought, and a Wrench’s brightness is a good clue to his or her emotional state. A Wrench’s radiance can dim to near invisibility, or can flare bright enough to be seen at orbital distances. Wrench astronauts use color-flashes to communicate with one another when performing EVAs.
Wrench mutates have no set breeding season and enjoy sex for pleasure. Despite their human-like shape, they cannot successful interbreed with baseline homo sapiens. The genemods that make a Wrench are far too extreme for cross-fertilization. Wrench can only bear off spring with their own kind or another Lifechained humanoid.
Most Wrench prefer sex in zero gravity or hard vacuum conditions, and have little interest in sex when trapped in a gravity well. Wrench males usually suffer impotence while on a planet with Earth-normal gravity.
Size and Type
Wrench are Medium Humanoids with the Lifechained subtype, and have no special bonus or penalties due to their size. A Wrench’s base landspeed is 30 ft.
Ability Score Modifiers
+2 to one ability score of choice. Wrench post-humans are every bit as diverse as their human ancestors.
All Wrench receive Zero-G Training as a racial bonus feat. They enjoy zero-g conditions and make excellent spacers.
Wrench have direction finding organs modeled on bee and homing pigeon anatomy built into their neural tissue. They receive a +8 racial bonus on Navigate checks, and can always sense their distance and relative direction to their birth planet, regardless of how far they range. They also receive a +2 racial bonus on Pilot checks.
Patriot Wrench receive lowlight vision and darkvision with a 120 ft effective range. They can sense the presence of, and general direction to, other Lifespawn within one mile.
Natural Armor (EX)
A Wrench’s metallic skin is designed to be resistant to micro-meteorite punctures. It can also shrug off small arms fire. The Wrench receives a +3 natural armor bonus to Defense, which improves to +4 at 5th level, and by +1 for every five additional levels.
Wrench do not need to breathe and are immune to the effects of suffocation, vacuum and radiation. They are immune to environmental heat and cold and can sustain themselves indefinitely on solar energies and ambient cosmic radiation. Outside of an atmosphere they do not need food or water, but in a planetary atmosphere, they need as much food and water as a similarly sized human.
As Lifespawn, Wrench characters may select the Awakened Heritage feat at any point during their careers, not just at first level. A Wrench may always take either the Thermonuclear Heart or Starleap Spaceflight Lifechained feats, regardless of whether she meets the prerequisites or not. These two feats represent natural evolutions of her already impressive engineered gifts.
A Wrench’s natural biological processes allow the humanoid to generate incredible amounts of light. The Wrench can produce light equal to that of a halogen spotlight (bright illumination in a 100 ft cone, shadowy illumination for twice that distance). The Wrench can reduce her light output to less than that of an illuminated watch dial.
As a standard action, the Wrench can create a blinding flash of light, similar to the effect of a flash grenade centered on her self. All creatures within 30 ft of the Wrench who can see her must succeed at a FORT Save (DC 10 + her CON modifier) or be blinded for 1d4 rounds.
Wrench Racial Feats
Sequence Hybrid (Racial- Wrench)
Intermarriages between Wrench spacers and Sequence meta-humans hired on as guides for the starships they serve with are extremely common. The two species are extremely similar in outlooks and abilities, and both share a love for the freezing beauty of deepest space.
Prerequisites: Wrench species, character level first
Benefit: You gain a Sequence’s Starburst racial ability. Additionally, you can speak and are literate in Sequence. Wrench with this feat usually have coronas of ivory white flame licking their steel skins.